Smart Money Moves: Explore 5 Ways to Save Your Money

Home » Personal Finance » Smart Money Moves: Explore 5 Ways to Save Your Money

In today’s challenging economic environment with inflation driving up prices, saving money has become increasingly difficult. However, employing appropriate savings plans and strategies can help you accumulate savings without compromising on your lifestyle.

During uncertain times, savings act as a safety net, shielding us from unexpected challenges. The recent revelation that India’s household savings have hit a 50-year low emphasizes the urgency of enhancing our savings strategies.

India’s savings rate, which stood at 11.5 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) just two years ago (2020–21), has plummeted to 5.1 percent (2022–23). This decline directly affects us, as the fast-paced rise in the prices of everyday items erodes our ability to save.

Understanding the Reasons Behind the Savings Decline

Two main factors contribute to the nosedive in household savings: inflation and rising debt.

Inflation, driven by various reasons, makes it harder to save as the costs of essential items increase. Simultaneously, the increasing reliance on borrowing for critical expenses, such as education and healthcare, creates a scenario where people are even borrowing for daily necessities like groceries.

The Consequences of Reduced Savings

The decline in savings has broader implications, affecting both individuals and the nation’s economy. 

  • A decrease in savings means less money flowing into the government treasury, hindering economic growth by limiting funds for new businesses and infrastructure development. 
  • Additionally, without sufficient savings, unexpected life events can have severe financial consequences, potentially leading to a cycle of borrowing that further hampers future savings.

5 Best Ways to Save Money

  1. Examine Your Expenses
    • Discover and trim unnecessary expenses by discontinuing unused subscriptions, downgrading internet or mobile phone packages, opting for homemade coffee, bringing lunch to work, and reviewing insurance policies.
  2. Clarify Your Goals
    • Establish specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) savings objectives. 
  3. Identify Your Spending Triggers:
    • Recognize emotional or situational triggers contributing to overspending. Analyze unplanned expenses to unveil patterns related to specific places, individuals, or emotional states.
  4. Settle Outstanding Debt:
    • Prioritize the repayment of high-interest debt, such as credit card balances. Explore options like balance transfer cards or debt consolidation loans to reduce interest rates and allocate more funds to savings.
  5. Automate Your Savings:
    • Simplify savings by arranging automatic transfers from your checking to your savings account.

Getting Your Savings Back on Track: Rules to Save Money

To counter the savings decline, consider implementing these best savings plans in your everyday life:

  1. Cook at home: Save money by preparing meals at home instead of dining out.
  2. Share rides: Carpooling can be a fun and economical way to commute.
  3. Shop smart: Hunt for discounts and make informed purchase decisions.
  4. Avoid impulse buying: Resist unnecessary purchases, especially during the festive season.

How to Increase Your Savings

  1. Set Savings Goals: Use a savings tracker or app to visualize and track your progress toward your savings goals.
  2. Automate Savings: Set up direct deposits or use rounding-up apps to automate savings effortlessly.
  3. Cut Expenses: Follow budgeting methods like the 50/30/20 rule, reducing unnecessary spending, and finding ways to save on bills and groceries.

50/30/20 Rule Explained

1. 50% for Needs (INR 5,000):

  • Explanation: Allocate half of your monthly income for essential needs that you must cover to maintain a comfortable lifestyle.
  • Examples: Rent or EMI for housing, electricity and water bills, groceries, transportation costs (like fuel or public transport), and insurance premiums.

2. 30% for Wants (INR 3,000):

  • Explanation: Reserve 30% of your income for things you desire or enjoy but are not necessary for your basic living needs.
  • Examples: Dining out, entertainment expenses (such as streaming services, movie tickets), shopping for non-essential items, and hobbies.

3. 20% for Savings and Debt Repayment (INR 2,000):

  • Explanation: Dedicate 20% of your income towards securing your financial future and paying off any debts you may have.
  • Examples: Building an emergency fund, contributing to a Provident Fund or other savings account, saving for specific goals (like a vacation or a new gadget), and repaying credit card debt.

Example: If your monthly income is INR 10,000:

  • 50% for Needs (INR 5,000): Allocate INR 5,000 for rent, utilities, groceries, transportation, and insurance.
  • 30% for Wants (INR 3,000): Use INR 3,000 for dining out, entertainment, shopping for non-essential items, and pursuing hobbies.
  • 20% for Savings and Debt Repayment (INR 2,000): Set aside INR 2,000 for savings, which could include an emergency fund or contributions to a Provident Fund, and pay off any outstanding debts.

This rule provides a simple and practical framework to help manage your money effectively, ensuring that you cover your essential needs, enjoy some wants, and save for your financial goals.

How to Budget Your Money Effectively

  1. Calculate Income and Expenses: Use budgeting tools or simple methods like pen and paper to record your income and expenses.
  2. Choose a Budgeting Method: Explore various budgeting methods like zero-based budget, envelope system, percentage-based budget, and pay-yourself-first budget.

 Zero-based budget: This is a budget where you plan how to spend every rupee you earn so that your income minus your expenses equals zero. 

•  Envelope system: This is a budget where you use cash for your expenses and divide it into different envelopes for each category, such as groceries, rent, or entertainment. 

•  Percentage-based budget: This is a budget where you split your income into three main categories: needs, wants, and savings. You can use a simple rule like the 50/30/20 rule,.

•  Pay-yourself-first budget: This is a budget where you prioritize saving money before spending it on anything else. 

  1. Monitor and Adjust: Regularly review and adjust your budget as needed, especially when income, expenses, or financial goals change.

Some Common Rules to Saving Money

  1. Pay Yourself First: Prioritize saving a fixed amount or percentage of your income before other expenses.
  2. Live Below Your Means: Spend less than you earn, avoid debt, and track spending to stay within budget.
  3. Invest Wisely: Diversify your portfolio, choose low-cost investments, and adopt a long-term investment approach.

Remaining Vigilant for Financial Stability

Keep an eye on inflation beyond official figures and actively manage debt to secure your financial future. By incorporating these strategies, you can pass through the current savings challenges and work towards financial stability and peace of mind. While saving may not offer the immediate excitement of spending, it’s a worthwhile journey with long-term benefits. Remember, it is a must to choose a perfect savings plan for yourself and your family.


Disclaimer: Investments in the securities market are subject to market risks; read all the related documents carefully before investing.